The Christmas holiday period can mean different things to business owners. For some who rely on summer holiday trade, it can be a boom time where reliable staff are crucial. For others, it is the time when most clients take a break, in turn placing pressure on cashflow.
Take advantage of the different opportunities this time of year offers and put in place strategies to make it successful and stress free. Now is the right time to start developing plans for your business over Christmas.
Capitalise on Christmas boom time
Last Christmas Australians spent on average $1,325 per person on gifts, food, travel and alcohol.
Taking advantage of this increased consumer activity begins with the development of a marketing and promotional plan. Think about how you will attract customers to your business by offering Christmas specials. To draw in both physical and online traffic utilise traditional media and flyers plus multiple marketing channels including digital and social media. For example, decorate your shopfront or premises and develop fun digital holiday promotions too.
Make sure your business or restaurant is listed on websites like the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse so you can be found by people outside of the area who will visit the Sutherland Shire during the holiday season as family members or as tourists.
Review last year’s sales data and ensure that you have enough stock to meet increased demand.
Or, plan to embrace the quiet
Can you afford a substantial holiday break? Forecast your expenses and revenue for the December/January period. Items to think about include staff annual leave payments and fixed operating expenses including rent and utilities. Budgeting for this time of the year in consultation with your accountant or advisor is a great idea to ensure this period is stress free.
It may be that you can’t afford to stay open – a summertime shutdown could simplify staff leave arrangements and dovetail with the long school holidays, plus reduce the office air-conditioning bills.
Let your clients and staff know well ahead of time whether you will be shutting down over the Christmas/New Year period, so that you can accommodate any last-minute requests or special projects.
For some businesses the summertime lull is actually a productive time, offering the opportunity to take a breath, process the past year and plan for the next. Use the quiet time to update your website or develop new marketing and sales plans for the year ahead. It could also be the ideal space in which to conduct in-house staff training or focus on self-development.
Be thankful, celebrate and relax
Let your loyal clients know how much you appreciate them by sending a gift or goodwill gesture. Celebrate with your team by holding an end of year event and take the time to step back from your business to relax and celebrate with family and friends.
The natural beauty of the Sutherland Shire shines extra bright during the summer period, so take advantage of the many recreational activities on offer.
By Joanne Ryan
Joanne Ryan is Managing Director of Infodec Communications, an experienced and long-established communications, strategy and marketing company located in Miranda.